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date: 05 March 2021

Diocles(3)locked

, from Carystus on Euboea, physician
  • J. T. Vallance

Extract

In several ancient medical canons (e.g. Vindicianus, De med 2, fr. 2 Wellmann) he is placed second in fame only to *Hippocrates (2). His writings survive only in quotations, and there are serious problems of attribution in the case of certain fragments. Diocles was perhaps a contemporary of *Aristotle (c.384–322 bce) but his dates are highly controversial and the nature of his intellectual relationship to Aristotle and the Lyceum even more so. *Galen claims that he wrote the first anatomical handbook (2. 282 Kühn, fr. 23 W); he also wrote influential works on physiology, aetiology, medical semiotics and prognostics, *dietetics, and *botany (see also anatomy and physiology). His practice was no less famous than his theory; a type of bandage for the head was named after him, as was a cunning spoon-like device for the removal of arrowheads. The relative sophistication of Diocles' method is evident in an unusual fragment preserved by Galen (6.

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